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THOUGHTS OF MARIA by Gregory Heath
Thoughts of Maria by Gregory Heath

Gerry Thorley’s wife Rachel has left him for another man. His son Callum, who works for a PR company by day and deals drugs at night, hardly ever visits him. Now Gerry, divorced and approaching fifty, wants a second chance at love.

On the other side of the world, on the infamous Payatas dump in Manila, nineteen-year-old Maria and her family live a life of abject poverty and desperation. Picking through the filth, they earn just enough to stay alive. There seems no chance for change, until one day a young man appears with a proposition.

As Gerry combs web site after web site searching for the perfect mail-order bride, Maria and her family come to terms with the possibility that she might marry a foreigner to escape the miserable cycle of poverty in which they live. But he must be just the right man, a kind, respectful man, and a man with the means to give her a better life.

Will Maria’s future husband turn out to be an Englishman more than twice her age? Will Gerry’s new wife satisfy his needs for companionship and warmth? And what might his ex-wife and son think of Gerry’s new bride?

When the marriage is finally arranged and Maria returns with Gerry to England to start their life together, neither expects perfect marital bliss but both are willing to patiently cultivate a mutually satisfying relationship. But trouble is lurking just around the corner as Gerry’s son Callum feeds the fires of an escalating sexual obsession with his father’s new bride, and Rachel resolves to see the marriage fail, and Maria back where she belongs in the Philippines. 
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About the author

​Gregory Heath is a British poet, short story writer and novelist. Born in a Derbyshire hamlet, Woodhouses, he is the author of the novels The Entire Animal (Waywiser Press) and Thoughts of Maria (Open Books).

Gregory Heath was born in Derbyshire in 1967. He is widely published in the small press; his poetry, short stories and essays having appeared in magazines such as Tears in the Fence, Iota, and Poetic Licence. Staple have published him on a number of occasions and featured him in their Alt-gen collection showcasing the best small press writers of the last decade.
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